Dhaka (Daily Pakistan Online) The capital of Bangladesh is about to launch its first metro rail. It’s a Japanese-funded project that aims to ease travel in one of the world’s most congested cities. A section of the 20 km urban rail project, called Line 6, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The line connects the northern zone of Dhaka with the hub of government offices and hospitals in central Dhaka. It will pass through the city to the financial district of Moti Lake in the south.
While the project is likely to bring significant changes to the way people travel in Dhaka, its inauguration will also give Hasina’s government some much-needed political leverage. Sheikh Hasina’s party is under pressure ahead of elections expected in January 2024 as the South Asian nation’s foreign currency reserves dwindle and it battles inflation and an energy crisis.
In Dhaka, home to 10.3 million people in 305 square kilometers, the average driving speed here has dropped from 21 km/h 10 years ago to less than 7 km/h now. Given current trends, a World Bank report estimates that the speed could drop to four kilometers per hour, which is slower than walking.